Review: All We Can Do Is Wait by Richard Lawson

All We Can Do Is Wait by Richard Lawson Genre: YA Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Publication: February 6th 2018 from Razorbill
Series: None. Standalone.
Length: 288pages
Format: ARC from Penguin Random House International
Rating: ★★★★★

Amazon || Book Depository

In the hours after a bridge collapse rocks their city, a group of Boston teenagers meet in the waiting room of Massachusetts General Hospital:

Siblings Jason and Alexa have already experienced enough grief for a lifetime, so in this moment of confusion and despair, Alexa hopes that she can look to her brother for support. But a secret Jason has been keeping from his sister threatens to tear the siblings apart…right when they need each other most.

Scott is waiting to hear about his girlfriend, Aimee, who was on a bus with her theatre group when the bridge went down. Their relationship has been rocky, but Scott knows that if he can just see Aimee one more time if she can just make it through this ordeal and he can tell her he loves her, everything will be all right.

And then there’s Skyler, whose sister Kate—the sister who is more like a mother, the sister who is basically Skyler’s everything—was crossing the bridge when it collapsed. As the minutes tick by without a word from the hospital staff, Skyler is left to wonder how she can possibly move through life without the one person who makes her feel strong when she’s at her weakest.

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Huge thanks to my friends from Penguin Random House International for sending me a review copy of this title in exchange for an honest review. This did not, in any way, affect my overall opinion of the book and/or the story.

My wanting to read All We Can Do Is Wait by Richard Lawson started out solely as a quick book recommendation from my friend and a Penguin Random House representative, Ms. Honey De Peralta. She read an early copy of the book, and said that I might be one of the author’s intended audience. Upon reading the synopsis of the title on Goodreads, I found myself agreeing with her, and I was immediately on board this exciting work of fiction. And I’m so lucky to be once again be working with them and be featuring an amazing book with an even more amazing story. Read on for a detailed review of Richard Lawson’s debut novel.

I’m gonna be honest and share with y’all that I had a hard time powering through the first 50 pages of this book. As much as I wanted to like it, I found the writing to be a little too excessive, and it focused immediately on back stories instead of introductory details, which somehow, in my opinion, made the story a little dragging to read. At the back of my mind, though, I can’t entirely fault the author or his writing style at all since I literally came from reading 3 YA Fantasy books beforehand, so… Also, I came to appreciate all the back story in the end, so this didn’t really have that big an impact in my overall reading experience.

After getting through the next few pages though, I realized that I did like how everything was written, with present scenes jumbled with flashbacks, giving readers an easily comprehensible reading experience. This technique, in my opinion, offers readers the chance to fully understand the plot, along with the back stories that came with all 5 of the main characters. I find that there wasn’t any question left unanswered through this writing style, and I can’t deny how I love reading mystery stories that could somehow answer every question that it brings to your attention towards the ending of the book. This might not have made everything fast-paced, but it did make it satisfying to read.

And lastly, I love how the author was able to portray different kinds of emotions through the lives and voices of his main characters. Jason, Alexa, Skyler, Morgan, and Scott are very different people but what they all shared in common was the fear of potentially losing someone they love. They came from unique walks of life, some having a life that’s more bearable than the others, but in the end, they were all just the same group of kids that were painfully waiting to be informed of the whereabouts of their families and friends. And I love how this portrayed the resilience of a person, amidst all the stress and drama. I love the message that this particular aspect conveyed, that we’re never truly alone. And if this doesn’t convince you to give this book a try, I don’t know what will.

“Told from 5 alternating points of view, All We Can Do Is Wait is a character-driven novel that focuses on loss, grief, the fear that comes with losing a loved one, whether they be family or not, and human resilience. It offers a very unique reading experience, especially for fans of realistic contemporary fiction. Richard Lawson, in his debut novel, gives life to 5 well-developed characters, who readers will for sure come to root for towards the ending of the story. It might not have been as fast paced as I was hoping for it to be, but it was a satisfying novel to read overall.”


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Have YOU read All We Can Do Is Wait yet? If not, be sure to check out once it’s out on February 6th! And once you do, let me know what you think of it down below in the comments section!


Arctic Books general graphics JMJM is a 21 year old blogger from Manila. He has a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Managment mainly because it was too late when he discovered that literature and publishing is his true calling. He enjoys reading contemporary and fantasy novels as much as he enjoys playing video games and baking pastries. You may find him on TwitterInstagram, and on Goodreads.



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